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Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Alabama Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Purchases of "Gay Lit" Using State Funds

Alabama state lawmaker Gerald Allen has introduced a bill to ban the use of state funds to purchase literature featuring homosexual activities or lifestyles. Specifically, HB 30 provides that "[n]o public funds or public facilities shall be used by any state agency, public school, public library, or public college or university for the purchase, production, or promotion of printed or electronic materials or activities that, directly or indirectly, sanction, recognize, foster, or promote a lifestyle or actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws of the state of Alabama. No public funds shall be used for the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle or encourages or proposes to public school children that they have a legitimate right to decide or choose illegal conduct."

In addition, "[n]o state agency, public school, public library, or public college or university, directly or indirectly, shall require or encourage the entity's members or employees to provide information or materials or engage in any activities that, directly or indirectly, sanction, recognize, foster, or promote a lifestyle or actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws of the state of Alabama."

Further, "[a]ny public employee who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor."

The bill declares that "[t]his section shall not be construed to be a prior restraint of the First Amendment protected speech. It shall apply only to state agencies, public schools, public libraries, and public colleges and universities in the use of public funds and public facilities."

Scrutiny of the proposed law has been swift. See this article in the Birmingham News and this article from across the pond in the Media Guardian. Read the entire text of Allen's bill here.

(Thanks to Sean Sirrine for alerting me to this item).

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